The Weird Week in Review

Man Shot for Using Boss' Toilet

Rajabu Hasani of Durban, South Africa, had no idea that the toilet inside the store he worked for was only for the boss' use. After using the bathroom, the unnamed manager of the store confronted Hasani, whose defense was that he had only worked there three weeks and didn't yet know all the rules. The manager then shot Hasani in the knee! An ambulance took him to the hospital, where the bullet was removed. Hasani contacted police, who are investigating, but no arrested have been made. Hasani had not returned to work at the store.

Edgar Allan Poe's Funeral

Edgar Allan Poe died 160 years ago, but did not have a proper funeral, especially for such a respected author. Sunday, this will be rectified with two services at Poe's grave site in Baltimore. Actors will portray Poe's contemporaries and eulogies will be read based on real writings about the author. Instead of digging up and reburying Poe, a mockup was constructed and will lie in state for visitation and a wake before the funeral. Advance tickets are sold out. Baltimore has many Poe events scheduled for this year, the 200th anniversary of his birth.

Bag of Cocaine 'Shot Out' of Suspect's Body

St. Lucie County, Florida police received a tip about a man transporting cocaine Thursday. They found a car fitting the description at a gas station. The driver, Warren Leonard Wiley drew the attention of a drug-sniffing dog.

"Wiley was then escorted to the men's room for a more detailed search," the affidavit states. "While being escorted, Wiley dropped his shorts in the middle of the store stating, "˜I don't have nothing.' "

Wiley's backside appeared "clenched tight" as if he was hiding something. While walking, his backside relaxed and a clear bag with about 22 grams of cocaine in it "shot out" onto the store's floor.

Officers arrested Wiley on a variety of charges.

Plumber's Arm Left Askew

50-year-old Torron Eeles of Welham Green, Hertfordshire, England fell down a fight of stairs in December and broke his upper arm. Ten months later, he still hasn't received an operation to straighten it out. Eeles claims that the surgery has been postponed four times. An authority with the National Health Service claims there have been two postponements due to concerns over Eeles health, once when his blood pressure was too high and once when it was found he failed to quit smoking under a doctor's intruction. Eeles' incapacity benefits were discontinued recently when a doctor evaluated him and said he could work.

Crocodile Thrown in Jail for Loitering

Police in Gunbalanya, Northern Teritory, Australia arrested and detained a two meter long female crocodile. The charge? Loitering!

Police said they found it loitering near a fence, trying to look innocent.

Brevet Sergeant Adam Russell said intrigued residents had gathered around to watch the arrest "“ but any dreams he had of nabbing the gnasher in style were promptly voted down.

"I wanted to jump on it Steve Irwin style," he said. "But (the rangers) wouldn't let me."

After three days in the local jail, during which the croc endured a hosing-down every few hours, the prisoner was turned over to a crocodile farm.

Vampire Wedding

150vampireweddingThe Rockin'-R-Ranch in Columbia Township, Ohio hosts a haunted house and conducts haunted hayrides during October. This year, they also hosted a vampire wedding! Jack Holsinger was carried in a coffin to the altar where he met his bride Connie Spitznagel. Both were dressed as vampires. The best man appeared as pirate Jack Sparrow and the maid of honor was decked out as the Bride of Frankenstein. The couple's vows were customized to reflect their nature as vampires. Many of the guests were also dressed as vampires or other Halloween characters. Patrons of the haunted house were welcomed to the wedding as well.

Dispute Between Neighbors Leads to Poisoning Attempt

A rift between neighbors could have turned deadly when Gary Stewart of Denton, Manchester, England shared his takeout curry with Marie Walton and Beverley Sales. The women found pest control pellets in the food and called police. Stewart was arrested and admitted he was trying to poison the women. According to other neighbors, Stewart had been harassing Walton and Sales for months, allegedly kidnapping their three-legged cat and dumping her several miles away. The cat was eventually recovered.

Billions of Cockroaches Are Bred in China to Create a ‘Healing Potion’

Insectophobes would probably agree that any place that breeds billions of cockroaches a year is akin to hell on Earth.

That place actually exists—in the Sichuan Province city of Xichang—but China's government says it's all for a good cause. The indoor farm is tasked with breeding 6 billion creepy-crawlies a year to meet the country's demand for a special "healing potion" whose main ingredient is ground-up roaches.

While there are other cockroach breeding facilities in China that serve the same purpose, the one in Xichang is the world's largest, with a building "the size of two sports fields," according to the South China Morning Post.

The facility is reportedly dark, humid, and fully sealed, with cockroaches given the freedom to roam and reproduce as they please. If, for any odd reason, someone should want to visit the facility, they'd have to swap out their day clothes for a sanitized suit to avoid bringing pollutants or pathogens into the environment, according to Guangming Daily,a government newspaper.

The newspaper article contains a strangely poetic description of the cockroach farm:

"There were very few human beings in the facility. Hold your breath and (you) only hear a rustling sound. Whenever flashlights swept, the cockroaches fled. Wherever the beam landed, there was a sound like wind blowing through leaves. It was just like standing in the depths of a bamboo forest in late autumn."

Less poetic, though, is the description of how the "miracle" potion is made. Once the bugs reach maturity, they are fed into machines and ground up into a cockroach paste. The potion claims to work wonders for stomach pain and gastric ailments, and according to its packaging, it has a "slightly sweet" taste and a "slightly fishy smell."

The provincial government claims that the potion has healed more than 40 million patients, and that the Xichang farm is selling its product to more than 4000 hospitals throughout China. While this may seem slightly off-putting, cockroaches have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years.

Some studies seem to support the potential nutritional benefit of cockroaches. The BBC reported on the discovery that cockroaches produce their own antibiotics, prompting scientists to question whether they could be used in drugs to help eliminate bacterial infections such as E. coli and MRSA.

In 2016, scientists in Bangalore, India, discovered that the guts of one particular species of cockroach contain milk protein crystals that appear to be nutritious, TIME reports. They said the milk crystal could potentially be used as a protein supplement for human consumption, as it packs more than three times the energy of dairy milk.

"I could see them in protein drinks," Subramanian Ramaswamy, a biochemist who led the study, told The Washington Post.

However, as research has been limited, it's unlikely that Americans will start to see cockroach smoothies at their local juice bar anytime soon.

[h/t South China Morning Post]

Massive Tumbleweeds Invaded a California Town, Trapping Residents in Their Homes

For Americans who don’t live out west, any mention of tumbleweeds tends to conjure up images of a lone bush blowing lazily across the desert. The reality is not so romantic, as Californians would tell you.

The town of Victorville, California—an 85-mile drive from Los Angeles—was overtaken by massive tumbleweeds earlier this week when wind speeds reached nearly 50 mph. The tumbleweeds blew across the Mojave Desert and into town, where they piled up on residents’ doorsteps. Some stacks towered as high as the second story, trapping residents in their homes, according to the Los Angeles Times.

City employees and firefighters were dispatched to tackle the thorny problem, which reportedly affected about 150 households. Pitchforks were used to remove the tumbleweeds, some of which were as large as 4 feet tall by 4 feet wide.

"The crazy thing about tumbleweeds is that they are extremely thorny, they connect together like LEGOs," Victorville spokeswoman Sue Jones told the Los Angeles Times. "You can't reach out and grab them and move them. You need special tools. They really hurt."

Due to the town’s proximity to the open desert, residents are used to dealing with the occasional tumbleweed invasion. Similar cases have been reported in Texas, New Mexico, and other states in the West and Southwest. In 1989, the South Dakota town of Mobridge had to use machinery to remove 30 tons of tumbleweeds, which had buried homes, according to Metro UK.

Several plant species are considered a tumbleweed. The plant only becomes a nuisance when it reaches maturity, at which time it dries out, breaks from its root, and gets carried off into the wind, spreading seeds as it goes. They’re not just unsightly, either. They can cause soil dryness, leading to erosion and sometimes even killing crops.

[h/t Los Angeles Times]


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